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Posts posted by Saros

  1. Sometimes I go to church, and I just can't relate to what is being said/taught. Why would a Supreme God allow a world like this to exist? It doesn't seem logical to me. But, it does seem logical that there is some type of Creator. He/she/it/they just are not involved in any intimate day-to-day way with what goes on here. Maybe we are just a science experiment or something.

    SW, I'm an agnostic atheist, so my views don't really line up with yours.

    That being said, if I were a theist, I believe I might reconcile the disparity and discomfort you describe by espousing the view that, to an infinite being, concepts such as "suffering" and "pleasure" don't have a significance comparable to those with an apparently finite life span - how could they mean anything to a universal, infinite existence? 50 years of suffering is meaningless next to an unbroken eternity. I would likely prescribe to the notion that an infinite-living soul could contain no meaning of suffering and pleasure either - these could only be observed through the illusion of a finite life. I.e., there are some things which you've got to be blind to see.

    Do you get where I'm going with this? "Life" as a means to experience the un-experiencable? I think I've seem some Christian mystics who resonate with the idea, and some less religious philosophies about life as a "the universe observing itself" phenomenon.

    I can't say how to reconcile that sort of philosophy with a stricter view of the Christian god (because I don't know really know any of the Bible), so I'll defer to the better informed on how it is possible or not.

    I think, for whatever reason, we come here, and take the chance of something horrible happening because horrible things happen here. Animals eat each other alive, suffering beyond words goes on every day, and is allowed to. Because there is no comforting "Father" up there to protect us. It seems he just created everything and went away to maybe create something somewhere else.

    That's an interesting perspective, kind of theist-but-functional-atheist view. Reminds me of a story I wrote with a schoolmate back in high school. Someone wakes up one evening to find God shuffling at a desk in the room, absorbed in doing something else, ignoring (or not hearing) all supplication by the observer, and apparently not at all interested in people. There the story ended, with no obvious conclusion.

    Anyway, I don't think you need to abandon the things you'd prefer not to, as long as you can tolerate the dissonance, or weigh it favorably against the positives you receive in believing.

    As a disclaimer, my thoughts on the matter are poorly-formed, born mostly from being idle with little to no research. I'm ok with my thinking being dismissed out of hand as irrelevant, inappropriate, and uninformed.

  2. I'd like to believe that "coming clean" is less a sign of a tendency to be untruthful, and more in your growing ability to open up and get past the stigma of addiction. Don't be too hard on yourself. Sounds like hiding problems has been a coping mechanism for you; I don't think it would be fair to expect you to suddenly drop it and be someone else once you've made a decision to try and open up.

    The inner turmoil I've felt in hiding things about myself (whether to a therapist or peer) has so far released by opening up and being transparent. However, I haven't been able to be completely honest about everything in my life as of late - some things are a bit too close to the chest for me, and there's a worry over judgement, too. For me it's shades of grey, and I open up as I feel comfortable. Maybe in the future - but I don't feel the need to be WYSIWYG 100% of the time.

  3. It was my impression that there simply weren't enough long-term studies to determine efficacy of the MAOIs and newer drugs at treating chronic depression, rather than a conclusion that effective treatments don't exist. Don't have anything at hand to support that impression... I'm not at all familiar with the field of psychology and psychiatry, current or historical, so I'd appreciate a PM with any relevant titles/abstracts/links.

    In my own field, I can say it seems most long-term studies never have a reliable funding to deliver on the questions investigated, while meta-analysis never seem to have a laudable level of statistical inference.

    I do feel some relief during and shortly after therapy, but I also have the nagging doubt that it may be the human interaction factor alone (mostly the arguments), rather than the application of a particular psychotherapeutic technique.

    Having worked in research within private industry, I can't believe we take any private agency's reports credibly when profit is at stake, or an agenda is present. Sad to say my professional peers agree.

  4. I have not, and I'm sorry to hear they're emerging for you. I wanted to post because I just finished a long article concerning extrapyramidal symptoms and long-term serotonergic use only fifteen minutes ago. I had cholinergic spasms while trying venlafaxine - I don't think it was comparable, but it got me interested to learn more. My impression was that the diagnostic was stepping down on or eliminating the potentially causative medication and watching for a remission of the symptoms - which seemed to vary greatly in individual case studies.

    I hope it gets better. It sounds like it can potentially be alarming and a significant source of anxiety.

  5. Hi DAW,

    What exactly is CES?



    "Cranial electro stimulation"

    An unsolicited, glowing review from a new user endorsing a specific brand, listing a cost, and promising life-changing benefits and no downsides raises red flags. The OP may be genuine, but they've also managed to get the spam formula down, minus including a hyperlink to a specific retailer.

    edit: I'm particularly bad-tempered today. Hope the OP isn't an innocent bystander.

  6. As an undergrad, I had some rough times like a lot of other students. They weren't exceptional problems, they were probably fundamental to everyone. I dipped, but came out ok. Had I used mental health as an illness I might have been abusing the system.

    As a grad student, I wish there had been greater awareness, outreach, and less stigma (even if the stigma was just my own). Things could have been improved, and I think a mental health "excuse" would have been well-timed.

    Were I an employee in university mental health services today, my first priority would be "are we reaching everyone who needs our help?". After that comes questions of "are students abusing the system?". I wish that priorization and the potential consequences of its subversion were more apparent.

  7. HOP, I do appreciate that your intention is good and well-meaning - but I'd like to point out a few things for the sake of posterity (and, admittedly, my pride).

    You said, "All I've been able to do today is a few clumsy posts on DF to make me feel healthier and better about myself." So I'm inclined to think this post was more about the deeper issue of not feeling healthy or accepting who you are at the moment.

    I thought by writing that sentiment so clearly, without need for interpretation or reading between the lines, anyone would recognize that I'm pretty cognizant of it - else how would I write it? It's an employment of self-deprecation, an unfair belittling of oneself for humor or stress release. Everything we do (including posting on these forums) has some level of ambivalence due to our complicated and competing motivations. I exploited that ambivalence for tertiary purpose. It's not for everyone, and I understand how it could be misleading.

    Why do you think it doesn't bother you more to live like a "slob"? Perhaps you feel that you don't deserve any better? Perhaps you feel like it's a waste of time to clean because inside you're still 'a mess'?

    My point is that the first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one. . .

    I thought it apparent that a slovenly lifestyle was upsetting me. I'm not tolerating the mess because I "think I don't deserve better" or "because on the inside I'm a mess". I live with it, despite my dislike, because a common symptom of severe depression is psychomotor impairment. Many people here deal with it, in varying degrees. Getting up, taking a shower, getting dressed and eating are sometimes ridiculously difficult tasks. I don't not eat because I think I should starve, or not shower because I think I should stink. I don't do these banalities because they become physically exhausting and at times seem impossible, absurd as that may seem.

    Honestly, that last comment was irksome. But I suppose when everyone is taking shots in the dark, despite acting in earnest, someone is inevitably going to have a button pushed. C'est la vie.

    Regardless, thanks much for taking the time to read and respond.

  8. Waffles and Murph, thanks for your replies.

    For now, I can't go back to my field. Besides wanting a career change, the work I specialize in is too physically and mentally demanding (for me). In the final days of my last job, my coping methods were unhealthy, dangerous, and unprofessional, though I was discrete. I've been asked by another local firm for my resume. I don't know yet what I'll do.

    I suppose there aren't any easy answers or advice. I just had to vent.

    Since I started the topic, I managed to make a short list of a few local businesses that need part or full time help. Cash registers and stocking inventory. It's an abrupt transition for me, where I would have been otherwise financially comfortable. But enough feeling sorry for myself. I have to just get over everything that's holding me back, or start thinking about living out of my vehicle.

    Waffles, thanks - really, any suggestion is good to receive. Do you think you'll have enough time to coalesce and gather yourself back together before you have to go back work? I thought I would, and it's looking like I was a bit too optimistic.

    Murph, thanks. Volunteering. It's been suggested to me and I wish I would. Around here there's no lack of need for help at the shelters, kitchens, with the red cross, united way, animal rescue. Aside from the guilt of being idle and letting myself feel wretched when I could be helping others less fortunate, I know some schedule in my daily life would improve my situation - if only giving me a reason to get up some days. What kinds of volunteering are you looking into?

  9. Thank you all for your replies. Last-minute, I used several garbage bags liberally and indiscrimately. The result wasn't tidy or clean, but enough for me to feel a little less dysfunctional. I am fortunate that my visitor is someone who understands some of my problems, and isn't judgemental - far from a worst-case scenario. The critic in the room was me, and having to admit to myself that I'm not making progress on getting my act together.

    I wasn't able to touch the dishes before, and to my shame she started on them. Mold was breached, and the smell was insulting. We both tried not to gag. Though mortified, it was terrible enough to have some absurd humor, mitigating just having to feel like a slob. I would really struggle if absurdity didn't occasionally soften things. It doesn't seem to be for everyone, though. During therapy, my pdoc seemed confused when I thought the worst parts of our dialogue were also amusing.

    "Don't be too hard on yourself - consider your situation". I don't disagree, but it's tough to really believe it.

    In retrospect, and looking through DF, I think I'm just a guy with a dirty apartment fretting over vanities. I'm embarassed to have worried about it publicly. I'm taking for granted the good, like my autonomy and having an apartment at all.

    Thanks again to everyone who stopped by, even if just to read.

  10. All day I've known someone is coming over this evening. I've got two hours left. The apartment is a trainwreck. I'm starting to feel sick about anyone seeing how embarassingly out of control it is. I haven't cleaned anything. I feel like lead, and, absurdly, cleaning seems impossible. All I've been able to do today is a few clumsy posts on DF to make me feel healthier and better about myself.

    I won't cancel, and I'll bite the bullet and open the door, but I feel like absolute dreck. The mess is a punctuation point marking the end of a run-on sentence about self-pity and inertia. But I've got to try and socialize at some point, and it's too late for advice anyway, so it's time to just deal with being embarassed.

    Just wondering how many other people are hiding their homes out of embarassment, at the cost of socializing. I guess I thought some commiseration would put me at ease. Or where the balance point is. Or how you remain carefree about the landfill around you.

  11. You're definitely not alone in this. Like many here, my hobbies are kaput. I may as well be watching paint dry. But you're not a loser - those people out there "so involved in life" aren't balancing depression and the day-to-day.

    Conversations can be difficult. When someone is rattling off all the extracurriculars they've blown through in the past three months I can feel quite sheepish. It's better for me to remind myself that I'm not just sitting around. I'm trying to cope. Don't be embarassed or humiliated, you've no reason to be. And after talking to me, I imagine a peer is going to go on with their life and engage in something else they enjoy, and stop thinking about me. I try and allow myself to do the same. Any opinion they came to about me is prematurely formed and based on incomplete information.

    What do you say in those conversations? Still working it out. I'm trying things like "in the past I was blah blah blah, but these days I'm: exploring new directions / re-assessing my interests / defragging / rebooting / taking a sabbatical." I like the sabbatical. They can think I'm facetious, quirky, bored with them or whatever, but I doubt they think much about it at all.

  12. Questions of selfish versus selfless always tangle me up. Do we act selflessly because:1) it betters our fellows, or because 2) it betters our fellows - and that fact resonates with some deep-seated ideology of ours, and we feel good about it, find purpose in it, and motivated to do it? That's where I stop and wait for someone smarter than me to pick up the conversation. What isn't a selfish act?

    Though this thought has never entered into my own suicide: me versus others self-dialogue.

  13. Fear of losing control isn't stupid.

    I'll echo sven - what jumped out at me first is that you stopped your meds "early" - maybe because you felt fine? You may have felt better because your depressive episode was over, or maybe because the floxetine had reached a therapeautic level in your system and was doing it's job. I'd suggest consulting your mental health specialist regarding scheduling and dscontinuing any medication. If you're not trying therapy, it may aid in recovery while meds help you manage symptoms, and then in keeping depression at bay when medication is ceased.

    Hypnagogic hallucinations - yeah, I hear my name and all sorts of things, and usually I'll get up out of bed after that. Wiki says they're "common", but I've not met many people who bring the topic up. In my case, I don't believe it's indicative of anything.

    I find the more I am able to objectify symptomolgy, the more relaxed I feel about them. Meaning a mental separation from the phenomenon through observation, catalogue, and subsequent analysis, addressing probable causes and resolution. This isn't possible for me when I feel very "caught up" in the thing.

    Best of luck for now.

  14. Just wanted to chime in that not all guys are the same, and I don't think you broke some universal rule. I may have been ok with it - but it's extremely circumstantial. I have been the ex-boyfriend, and I've been close with married ladies; boundaries were maintained, intentions were simple and transparent.

    Keep trying to communicate with bf. Personally, I shelve arguments when they go south and let tempers cool first; I like arguments calm, and I like knowing I'm being heard (so I extend the courtesy to her, too). He needs to communicate before anger takes over. Resolution might take a while. I don't think just "getting over it" is healthy - don't swallow that sucker punch. Sorry I can't offer better advice.

    I would be upset over having to intentionally lose a friend.

    I've never been married, but I am friend with a couple who are (and have kids); they both have lives in and outside the family. They seem strong. Include a grain of salt here.

  15. Also if he hasn't been living with the cat for long, he will most likely adapt. It took me 4 weeks to get used to my cats so my allergies weren't acting up. We also have several "lint rollers" from the dollar store to keep hair off our bed and so on.

    I've wanted to adopt a cat from the local shelter. But if I get cat allergens in my eyes, I might as well call in sick and go back to bed for the rest of the day. I get the works, and my eyes can't stand normal light. I resign myself to scrapping the day, skip eating, and hope to feel better the next day after several showers, cups of coffee (which I find helps), sleep, and several antihistamines.

    Maybe I'm being totally melodramatic, but I would dread to try and ride it out over a month.

  16. I found effexor exacerbated existing anhedonia, though there were some episodes of unprecedented mental volatility. Not appropriate for me, but clearly has helped others.

    So I think it's just case-by-case for every person and every med.

    Consult your physician, and

    - if you can tolerate the side effects, try sticking to it so potential benefits have time to manifest

    - if side effects are intolerable, work out a plan to discontinue and/or try something else

  17. Completely honest with psychiatrist, and she doesn't seem to fret about trespassing any taboos. It helps that I can slip into clinical diagnostic mode and discuss everything with her as if I was a distant third party.

    Real peer support? I have two friends I've told varying bits to, but have not been able to open up to anyone about the full set of symptoms, and don't have plans to. Even a little disclosure was soothing, though.

  18. I really regret that I couldn't report my last co-worker to the feds because I was worried about her kids if her career tanked. These choices are complicated. But you're right to think of the residents first. Based on what you've written, I think you would make a good boss (though perhaps the employees would chafe and moan).

    And right, if you spare the colleague, it could potentially harm the resident. Looks like you won't be able to make everyone happy, so do the thing that's true to you.

    Bennie, didn't you write a while back about one of the clients asking for you specifically, and wanting to avoid other employees? It sounds like the place needs a makeover, more than skin deep.

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